I have always been a strong proponent of a daily devotional time. It is known as “quiet time” with the Lord. It is a time that you purposely set aside to spend with your Heavenly Father.
It typically consists of reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, maybe journaling, a Bible study or even some praise and worship music. I have been taught that a devotional time is something we should all be doing and I have been doing it for many years.
Recently, however, I have been reconsidering the whole idea of a “scheduled” time with God. Is time with God really something that we have to schedule in? Do we schedule time with our family? While we may sometimes put a date night on our calendar or a planned family event, the spontaneous moments with family are not scheduled.
Isn’t that what our relationship with God is supposed to be like? Filled with spontaneous moments?
I know many Christians who battle with guilt because they are not getting their daily devotional time in. Or perhaps they do get it in but they feel guilty about the amount of time they are giving. They hear of others who spend an hour or two in the Word, yet they can barely squeeze in five minutes.
I am beginning to think that the problem is our focus. If we put our focus on scheduling it in, we feel obligated. Obligations are nothing more than a check on our to-do list. Our relationship with God should go deeper than that.
What if we took the pressure off having a “quiet time” or “devotional time” and instead put our focus on pursuing God. As we focus on our relationship with God, pursuing a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him then I believe that out of that will come a desire to spend time in His Word or communing through prayer. It won’t have to be scheduled in because it will become part of our everyday life.
If you have been feeling guilty, pressured or obligated to have a devotional time then perhaps you need to change your focus. Don’t schedule God into your life. Pursue Him and He will become intricately entwined into your life.